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Proposed law would force school boards to heed parents’ petitions for school reform

School busBy Ilana Kowarski  MarylandReporter.com

National education reform advocates support a Maryland bill that would mandate reform for failing schools whenever a majority of parents petition for intervention, but the state superintendent and the state teachers union oppose the idea.

The bill is one of many “parent trigger” laws that have been proposed in states throughout the nation as they struggle to fix failing schools and remedy inequities in the education system. At a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday, impassioned reformers faced arguments from professional educators who warned the bill could lead to chaos in the school system.

Joy Pullmann, the managing editor of School Reform News, a publication sponsored by the conservative Heartland Institute, told the committee that parents ought to have more influence in school reform.

Pullman argued that parents are the most likely to know what their children’s needs, and won’t be swayed by conflicting interests like money or power.

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